In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly decided that, as from 2009, 8 June would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day”. Many countries have celebrated World Oceans Day following the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, which was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Since 2006, Eco Ethics Kenya has been the focal point of the Kenya WOD activities. This organization has contributed tremendous effort to ensure that every 8th of June is a remarkable day nationwide, and also contributed substantially in terms of time and labor to the successful petitioning of the UN to accept WOD in its program and charter. Their hard work has led to the official recognition of WOD by the government of Kenya in 2009.
Every year we mark world oceans day as a reminder of the crucial role we play in conserving our ecosystems to ensure sustainable development. It is upon us all to create a safe environment and clean one for not only us but the future generation too. This day is embraced not only as a time for festivities, but also as an important opportunity to appreciate the great resources that oceans yields.
The oceans are essential to food security and the health and survival of all life, power our climate and are a critical part of the biosphere. The official designation of World Oceans Day is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans. A quote from the Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, on the world oceans day;
From trade to food to climate regulation, the oceans are integral to all of humanity. This is particularly so for coastal dwellers whose income and culture are irrevocably bound to the sea. If we are to fully benefit from the oceans, we must reverse the degradation of the marine environment due to pollution, overexploitation and acidification. I urge all nations to work to this end, including by joining and implementing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Let us work together to create new waves of action for ocean sustainability – for people and the planet.
Let us all come together and merge to mark this wonderful day this year in Kilifi for healthy oceans equals a healthy planet.